Summary (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe continues the story of Arthur Dent; Trillian, his sometime girlfriend; Zaphod Beeblebrox, president of the Imperial Galactic Government; Marvin the depressed robot; and Ford, his longtime hitchhiking companion. The Heart of Gold is speeding away from Magrathea, the adventurers having barely escaped there with their lives at the end of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Arthur inadvertently overloads the computer’s systems by asking for a good cup of English tea. When the approaching Vogon ship, sent to kill Arthur and Trillian because of their ties with Earth, opens fire on the Heart of Gold, the computer is so focused on brewing a pot of tea that it cannot devote the needed resources to provide an adequate defense. The characters once again narrowly escape what appears to be certain death when Zaphod manages to summon his great-grandfather to bail them out.
As a result of that rescue, Zaphod and Marvin mysteriously disappear from the ship, finding themselves in the offices of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the self-proclaimed repository of all knowledge. After Zaphod and Marvin make it past the existential elevator to find the office of Zarniwoop, Zaphod realizes why his great-grandfather sent him there—he was reminding Zaphod that he is in fact searching for the man who runs the universe.
Zaphod is transported to Frogstar...
(The entire section is 600 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Gaiman, Neil. Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” New York: Titan Books, 2005.
Hanlon, Michael. The Science of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” New York: Macmillan, 2005.
Simpson, M. J. Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams. Boston: Justin Charles, 2003.
Simpson, M. J. The Pocket Essential Hitch Hiker’s Guide. 2d ed. Chicago: Trafalgar Square, 2005.
Webb, Nick. Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003.
Yeffeth, Glenn, ed. The Anthology at the End of the Universe. Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books, 2004.